, the Internet service that enables consumers to bid on airline tickets, groceries and other items, made its own bid for a chief financial officer and found her at
The companies said Wednesday that Heidi Miller, Citigroup's chief financial officer, had been named priceline.com's new chief financial officer and senior executive vice president.
Miller succeeds Paul Francis, who has been with priceline.com since its inception in 1997. Francis has been named to the board of directors of
, the intellectual property laboratory that invented priceline.com's business model. Citigroup officials said they expect to name a replacement for Miller in due course.
The announcement came after the regular stock-market close at 4 p.m. EST. In after-hours trading on
, priceline.com's shares climbed 4 39/64, or 9%, to 56 31/64 from their closing price of 51 7/8. Citigroup's stock closed regular trading down 1/16 at 50 15/16.
One analyst supports the notion that priceline.com named the right price for Miller. "Maybe it was a great offer she couldn't refuse," said Diana Yates, an analyst at
A.G. Edwards & Sons
who rates Citigroup an accumulate. "Also there's the fact that there aren't too many female CFOs in the market."
Miller's predecessor, Francis, made $1.25 million in salary and bonuses and was granted 2.4 million stock options in 1998.
It is also notable, of course, that Richard S. Braddock, the chief executive of priceline.com, was the president of Citicorp until 1992.
Miller became Citigroup's chief financial officer when Citicorp and
merged in 1998.
"Somebody's going to have some big shoes to fill," Yates said. "It's Citigroup's loss and priceline.com's gain." Yates' firm has done no underwriting for either company.
Braddock hailed Miller's decision as another testimonial to priceline.com's business model. "Our challenge now is to rapidly scale the priceline.com business across multiple product segments and continents," he said in a statement. "To accomplish that, we have been steadily building one of the strongest management teams in the Internet industry."
named Miller as the second most-powerful businesswoman in the U.S.